Ingram Micro Explores More MSP Offerings

Santa Ana, Calif.-based Ingram is exploring several models that would help solution providers enter the managed services market without having to invest in significant infrastructure, as well as protect customers that have already invested in a managed services infrastructure.

“We need to be doing things that ultimately grow and raise the profitability for all our constituents and allow them to differentiate themselves from the market,” Crotty said.

Ingram is still mulling several ways to go to market, but it’s a course that the distributor needs to take, Crotty said. Ingram’s play in managed services could replicate its success in helping partners eliminate their old inventory models, he added.

“You look at our product business, and it’s grown because we helped VARs reduce an inventory infrastructure that was a duplicative investment. The same economies exist around managed services,” Crotty said. “We’re in the early stages of this, so you see a lot of duplicative efforts. We have a lot of solution providers that have done a great job putting in that infrastructure, and they’re doing a great job selling it. But do they all need to do it? We believe we can be uniquely positioned to help everyone.”

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A managed services initiative by Ingram would include three components: educating the solution provider to sell the service, providing the infrastructure and keeping hardware sales intact, Crotty said.

“Right now, it’s just a theory, but the theory is that we can go to market and make it more beneficial to guys that have already sunk those costs and built the infrastructure. If I am going to convince them to utilize me, my offering is going to have to be as good or better than the one that they have,” he said.

After acquiring Microland, Fremont, Calif.-based distributor Synnex launched a managed services offering last year that utilizes offshore resources. Ingram’s offering would focus more on the VAR’s resources, Crotty said.

“The VAR wants to be the guy that picks up the phone,” he said. “We will never change the VAR leading on a consultative basis. We would enable them to get on board cheaper, faster, more cohesively.”